The Zonta Club of Cebu 1 recognized the 16 Days of Activism and Zonta’s dedication to ending child marriage with a series of awareness programs.
On 8 November, Zontians held a commemoration event recognizing Zonta’s Centennial, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Zonta Club of Cebu I. This event included an “opening salvo” held at the Ayala Mall to an audience of about 1,000 people, including community leaders.
Also on 8 November, a research-interactive forum discussed the roots of child marriage.
A play was also presented that focused on how early pregnancy can lead to child marriage. This was attended by about 500 people.
On 29 November, about 200 Zontians and guests celebrated its golden year, featuring the Hall of Fame of Past Presidents from 1981 to 2018 and their projects that empowered women to spearhead prevention of violence against women. There were also poster exhibits focused on ending child marriage.
The largest assemblage was of 5,000 students, teachers and Zontians on 10 December at the University of San Jose Recoletos Coliseum. This was during the event “Shout Out NO to Child Marriage.” The event was covered by a regional tv network, as well as print media.
Members of the club say this series of integrated programs on child marriage had an impact on the community, which resulted in the formation of a new Z Club, comics serials, oratorical contests and an international forum on women’s transformative leadership.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Pocatello, District 8, collected and distributed feminine hygiene and personal care items to distribute to 16 local places for underserved women and girls to have free access to the products.
Members delivered products to one stop a day for 16 days. Each location received at least one box of supplies and some even received two boxes.
Club members collaborated with three businesses to have drop-off locations so non-members could donate and participate as well.
Club members selected 16 places around their community that they felt offered the most access for women and girls in to gain free access to the items. The stops included seven junior and senior high schools, three battered women or homeless shelters, a pantry on the campus of Idaho State University and several other locations that offer services or assistance to a wide variety of community members.
Members who dropped off the donations took selfies and posted them on social media at each stop to help spread the message to end violence against women. They also used the hashtags #womendoing and #tamponladies to help attract attention to their cause.
For many girls, child marriage can seem like the only option. Watch what happens when we give girls choices.
By the end of this year, the Ending Child Marriage Project has the potential to reach 2.5 million girls in 12 countries.
As we begin 2019, reinvigorate your dedication to ending child marriage by joining Zonta International in saying NO to the violating practice.
Zonta Club of de Baronie Breda, District 29, shared the very important message of saying NO to violence against women with the public by handing out yellow roses in their city center on 25 November.
The Mayor of Breda lit the tower of the Grand Church orange. Watch a video of the tower lighting up orange here.
During the 16 Days of Activism, Zonta International, as well as many clubs, focused on ending child marriage. For one club in Dhaka, this focus aligned with a current project from which they have seen success for two local girls.
Through a club-wide service project, members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II, District 25, have supported two girls in changing their lives after avoiding the pressures of child marriage.
Mohsina Akhtar and Shoma Islam are two young women from remote villages of Bangladesh and both participate in Shathi Samaj, an education project by the Zonta Club of Dhaka II.
While studying, Mohsina Akhtar was forced to get married and her in-laws did not let her continue with her studies. Mohsina underwent both mental and physical abuse during this time. Mohsina reached out to the Zonta club for counseling and advice. With the support of the club members, she was able to leave her marriage and go back to her studies. She is now a student at the University of Dhaka, studying finance. She hopes to become a chartered accountant.
When she was young, Shoma Islam was under pressure to discontinue her studies to get married. However, with the help of the members of the club, Shoma is now a 4th-year student of home economics at the University of Dhaka and is doing very well. She is also currently working with a renowned NGO in Dhaka and is also continuing her studies in food and nutrition. She has a dream of becoming a nutritionist.
Members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II plan to be by their sides until they fulfill their dreams.
From 25 November to 10 December, during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Zonta club members embraced the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and advocated to end violence against women and child marriage in their communities.
Watch the video below to see a few examples of how club members said NO during the campaign.
Inspired by the ZontaSaysNo campaign, the Danish District 13 Zonta clubs of Viborg, Silkeborg, Aarhus and Aarhus II invited upper secondary schools in their respective cities to discuss the topic of equal rights and respect between the sexes.
More than 150 students at seven upper secondary schools said yes to the invitation. During the course of November, they spent
many lessons in English, Danish, social studies or drama working on subjects such as how to say no to physical or mental abuse, how to have ethical behavior on social media, and learning about bullying and mental terror. They also learned about sexist stereotyping and other related topics.
The result was a series of inspiring essays, poems, short stories, video productions, social studies papers and plays. The students presented many of these products on stage to an enthusiastic audience on 24 November at VIA University College in Aarhus.
The Zonta club members said they are grateful to the students for their thought-provoking responses and reflections. Members said the contributions from the students strengthen their faith in humanity and show them clearly just how aware young people are about these issues and about how important it is to say no to physical and mental violence and to fight for gender equality.
The Zonta Club of Charlevoix Area members from District 15 are raising awareness about the issue of domestic violence with their Zonta Shoe Tree.
The Shoe Tree, currently on display in a prominent Charlevoix, Michigan location through 10 December, features 183 pair of shoes. Each pair represents one of the 183 victims of domestic violence or assault in the Charlevoix community in 2017.
The Zonta Shoe Tree serves as a public reminder that while each of the 183 victims put their shoes on and walk through their day just like everyone else, they live with violence.
Residents generously donated 183 pair of shoes and Charlevoix businesses and the local high school served as drop-off locations.
An area Girl Scout Troop joined Zonta members in painting the shoes orange, marched with members in the Holiday Parade and assisted in decorating the Shoe Tree.
By inviting the local community to donate shoes and help build the shoe tree, Zonta members and community members actively participated in an open discussion about the issue of domestic violence.
Spread the word and say NO! Like, share and comment! Tomorrow starts the #16Days of Activism.
Here are three things that you can do to take part in the 2018 Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign:
To raise awareness of violence against women, the Zonta Club of Lulea, District 21, collaborated with their local library, the City Library of Pitea. In the center of the library, the club set up a display to showcase books and movies focused on violence against women.
Club members said they think facts are important, but if you really want to reach people you have to appeal to their emotions. Books and movies do that. This is why the Zontians chose to collaborate with the library on the display.
With an exhibition in full view from the entrance of the library, they want to encourage the visitors to read and watch stories about survivors of violence against women. This is also in line with the theme chosen by UN Women this year, #HearMeToo.
A presentation was also given to the staff about how gender-based violence impacts women all over the world. Because of this, they are now ready to answer questions from the public about the exhibition and violence against women.